Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lawsuit Objectivity

Is it possible to be objective about your lawsuit? This question goes for lawyers and clients alike.

To be objective means you are not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; that your analysis is based on facts; that you are unbiased.

Like anything in life that you are passionate about, I don't think anyone can be completely objective. Especially when you are talking about matters that have changed peoples lives. How would you feel if you were crippled due to the carelessness of someone else? What would it be like to believe that a loved one died as a result of a mistake? I don't think you can know unless you have the grave misfortune of first hand experience.

The truth is, that just about every lawsuit involves people passionate about something that happened to them. The implications of this passion profoundly affects each legal action. It determines if and how a complaint is filed. It affects how clients and their attorneys get along. And, among other things, it affects the outcome of each case.

Clients' understandable inability to step back from their case and look at it objectively, taking into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of their claim, often detrimentally affects their financial bottom line. For many people, civil lawsuits are about principle. But so far as the civil court system is concerned, lawsuits are about money. Except for the rare instances where punitive damages are awarded or some equitable issue is parsed out, the end result of most successful civil lawsuits is the exchange of money from the defendant or the defendant's insurance company to the plaintiff. Share this post :
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